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Emotions and the Chakras

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

{Negative emotions}…are just the habit patterns of our mind continually playing themselves out in different scenarios – A’dzom Rinpoche

I have been known to say that the chakra system controls every emotion that you experience. While this is true, it might be more accurate to say that the chakras control your emotions and your emotions control your chakras. They kind of feed back upon and affect each other

The chakras are mediators of physical, emotional, mental, and karmic processes within your body and bioenergy fields. Whether you believe in karmic carryover from past lives or not, the hardware of the chakra system is given to you at birth. Along with birth trauma, this hardware is populated with software quickly downloaded from your parents, family, teachers, and your social milieu in general. Your thoughts, actions, even your perceptions contribute to this process as do those of the others around you.

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For an example of this principle of chakric / emotional interconnection, let’s take a look at anger. The transmutation of anger has been commercialized through many types of “anger management” courses. Often, these courses are not very effective in the long run. To authentically transmute anger, we would also have to manage fear, emotional trauma, spiritual will, intention, and surrender. To try to “box in” and address anger without considering the emotions managed by its neighboring chakras, is likely to be doomed to failure, or at best, a very short-term success. So, we really cannot approach the clarification of the chakras piecemeal, we must have a unified and truly holistic approach.

The chakras seem to organize themselves into 3 groups by physical location and energetic purpose. The first 3 chakras are closely wired and are located in the abdomen and pelvis. The chakras of the chest and throat, and the centers in the cranium are also connected to a high degree and their functions are related and influence each other as well.

Muladhara: The first chakra

The root chakra, located in the perineum, is the foundation of our physical body. Connected to the foot chakras as well as the other chakras of the pelvis and belly, the root chakra concerns itself with the maintenance and well being of our physicality. The basic emotion resident in this center is fear; a spectrum than spans slight anxiety all the way to howling, “run for the hills” terror.

“No one here gets out alive.” Jim Morrison, Five to One

I think humans collectively have always been quite an anxious lot. Politicians, marketers, corporate execs, con artists, Wall Street, and other terrorists know this and seek to manipulate our fears to their advantage. The power of fear over us can be more easily understood when one realizes that all fear, when reduced to its most basic level, is fear of death or debilitating injury. All of our anxieties, neuroses, perhaps even clinical phobias, when fully analyzed and reduced to their most basic constituents, will reveal fear of death / helplessness at their foundation.

Fear is the energy that catalyzes the “fight or flight” response, which all sentient organisms possess. Humans, as they evolved into a group distinct from other primates, kept many of their primitive survival tactics. Although we have the largest brain of any primate, we are physically the weakest of this ape-like class. Our big brain eventually put humans at the top of the food chain, but initially this cerebral endowment was of limited value. Our physical weakness left us at a distinct disadvantage, potentially making us prey to any stronger, faster, fiercer animal. Before the advent of weapons technology (clubs, stones, spears), we depended on defensive ploys similar to other primates faced with a predator. We yelled, beat our chests, huddled, hid singly or in groups, and ran. Millennia after the development of weapons and civilization, we still subconsciously fall back to a great extent on these old favorites.

It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death. – Epictetus

In these pre-historical times, it was easy to see one’s response to fear. The threat presented itself and you either ran or hit it with your club. Simple. In these more “civilized” modern times, we have many strata of cultural software layered over these basic instincts, yet the underlying reflexes remain the same. It’s just that we are no longer able to reflexively express them without penalty. Going postal on your boss, spouse, or other acquaintance will no longer set you free. Quite the opposite, usually. So the power (life force, chi, qi, ki) of this response usually remains locked up, frozen in our bodies and minds, and can do us great harm unless we learn how to transmute this energy into something more useful.

Fear can be thought of as the “glue” that holds the other dark animal emotions together, and prevents their release or transmutation. Without fear, sadness, trauma, and anger could be easily dissipated. It is this powerful survival instinct that resides at the core of all fear that prevents this from being accomplished in the pre-awakened person.

Outside of the globally statistically rare exposure to physical violence in today’s world (random urban violence, the participation in modern warfare, and other human on human violence having replaced animal predation), our anxieties have become more like phobias than the direct deadly threats of ancient times. Fear has become more rarefied in the sense that immediate death due to an attack from an actual predator is increasingly unlikely. We’ve killed most of them off and, with few exceptions, the ones who are left are highly wary of us. As we have evolved, our fears have become more subtle, convoluted, and less directly linked to bloody carnage.

Fear Then and Now

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell

It might be instructive to take a look at three classes of fear in terms of their expression and function in both the ancient and modern world.

Fear of being cast out.
Then: The dearth of safety in numbers makes one more prone to attack by predators. Loners become food and may lead predators to the main herd.
Now: Social awkwardness, embarrassment, a paucity of Facebook “friends.” The desperate need to belong often still secretly dogs the masses and even an occasional iconoclast. Many folks are still subconsciously concerned that loners and nerds could lead a lion back to pillage the village.

Fear of being incompetent, of being criticized.
Then: If you’re bad at hunting, gathering, clothes and shelter making, you’re not going to be much in demand in the tribe. See “being cast out”
Now: Losing or failing at your job or avocation leads to a loss of self-definition and raison d’être for many. Loss of control, competency, and influence can subconsciously be equated with, starvation and death.

Fear of physical inadequacy.
Then: disease / injury can lead to a reduction in value of the individual to the greater group. The altruistic response was to go sit on an ice floe.
Now: We don’t generally recommend a one-way trip on an iceberg these days. Still, injury, debilitation, mental and physical defects often make many people somewhat queasy, even though this may be considered to be politically incorrect. As a society, we usually prefer to group these folks together in institutions.

Collectively, it appears that we are still as twitchy as a wild monkey or Neanderthal. This can be problematic when you possess projectile weapons, biologic and nuclear arms. The modern socially acceptable gambit is to suppress these fears, to internalize and rationalize them. This can result in a suppression of chi or life force, and can lead to the development of stress and depressive mental states. Or, we can elect to just throw poop on our antagonists.

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. – Rumi

Think you have no fear? In reality, the person who is without fear is probably either deceased or severely impaired in some way. Fear, as a survival response, is hardwired into the brain stem and, as long as you own an undamaged one, you are going to be in possession of this basic response. For those of you who may believe that bravery is equated with a lack of fear, consider that courage is not the absence of fear, but perseverance in the face of it.

Now for the good news.
The energy of the first chakra can be relatively easily connected to the third eye. Utilizing the back channel of the spine (as in the practice of the Transmuting Breath or Cobra Breath) connects the perineum to the spine, brainstem, and limbic system; some of the most ancient parts of the brain. These transmuting techniques then purify and direct this energy to stimulate and “grow” the spiritual centers of the neocortex, the newest and evolving part of our brain. What started out as energy trapped in an unreasonable cycle of negative programming, can be re-written, freeing your qi for more constructive and enjoyable pursuits. (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall & Inner-Tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

Emotions and the Chakras:  part 1 part 2,

Karma Burning, Kundalini, Kali, and the Chakras

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History of Qigong part 3

Friday, April 1st, 2011

History of Qigong part 3
The Spiritual / Religious Era

During this period China in general, and qigong in particular, were strongly influenced by the migration of Buddhism from India. Some may consider aspects of Taoism to be spiritual, even religious, and this may be so in that Taoism has a deep reverence for the processes and cycles of nature. The Sage would observe these cycles and endeavor to be in harmony with them. These Taoist practices and philosophies do have much in common with pantheism and animism and so could be considered also to be a spiritual or religious paradigm, depending on the individual’s mind-set. In terms of qigong practice and intent however, the Early historical period had as its main focus the development of health and wellness.

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The Taoist hermit Zhang Dao Ling (Chang Tao Ling) was known for combining traditional Taoist principles with Buddhist precepts.  Zhang Dao Ling lived around 34 – 156 AD and claimed that Lao Tzu had empowered him to teach the way of the Tao. The system that grew out of this is now known as Dao Jiao (Tao Jiaw) and is a form of religious Taoism. Zhang Dao Ling built a spiritual following in Szechuan province emphasizing the achievement of immortality. Legend has it that Zhang physically ascended into heaven and from this event and his teaching efforts grew the branch of religious Taoism known as the Celestial Masters school.

The renowned saint Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived sometime Bodhidharma, Chan, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges Countyaround 400 – 500 AD and is often credited as being the patriarch and importer of Zen (Chan, Dhyana) to China. Most accounts agree that he was a Brahmin from southern India, or perhaps of a warrior caste. After he became a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is said to have traveled via the Silk Road through various eastern countries eventually reaching Northern China. One of the techniques Bodhidharma was said to have introduced is sometimes known as “wall gazing”, a practice of meditation that involves simply staring at a wall. This is similar to some forms of what is now called zazen. One story about Bodhidharma is that he retreated into the wilderness after being rebuffed by the Emperor where he practiced wall gazing for nine years.  It was said that he fell asleep seven years into his practice of wall gazing and he cut off his eyelids to prevent it from happening again. According to this legend, the eyelids he cut off hit the floor, withered, and became the first tea leaves. From this time on, tea would be used as a stimulant to help keep Zen students awake during their meditations. (A little green tea could help one focus and stay awake – snoring is soooo disruptive to other students. I don’t recommend cutting off your eyelids.)  During this general time Tibet had begun to develop its own form of Buddhism and it is likely that this also influenced Chan Buddhism to some degree.

The Buddhist temples of the period were thought to have taught Qigong practices, perhaps focusing on the forms of stilling the mind experienced in the meditation techniques of Chan Buddhism or Zen. It was postulated that these forms of qigong could lead to Enlightenment and escape from the cycle of reincarnation. During this time, the principles of Zen Qigong were reserved for monastic training and generally kept secret from the public.

Qigong during this time

- was kept secret within the monasteries
- was greatly influenced by Chinese and Indian Buddhism
- could be considered a path to Enlightenment
- presented a new level of challenge, combining the wellness paradigm of earlier Taoist practice with a more spiritual intent
- characterized by an increased efficiency of qigong practices (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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History of Qigong part 2

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Early Historical Era of Qigong
I term this period the Early Historical Era of Qigong as there are well known texts associated with it, unlike the Pre-historical period, which centers on the semi-mythical figure of the Yellow Emperor (Xuanyuan Shi),. The practice of Qigong is firmly imbedded within the ancient Taoist philosophy of life, flow, and wisdom. Thus, it is helpful for both the curious and the committed Qigong practitioner to understand the its philosophical underpinnings.

I Ching

Known as the Book of Changes, the Classic of Changes, and Zhouyi, the I Ching I Ching Yi King Yi Jing, ba gua, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County(Yi King, Yi Jing) is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. Sometimes attributed to the mythical figure Fu Xi or Fu Hsi around the time of the Yellow Emperor, it is one of the foundations of all Taoist practices including Qigong and T’ai Chi. The I Ching was one of the first texts describing the flow of Chi (Qi). It introduced the concept of the three natural energies: Tian (Heaven), Di (Earth), and Ren (Man). Studying the relationship of these three powers was perhaps the first step in the development of what was eventually to become Qigong.

King Wen (1152 BC – 1056 BC) is often thought to be the historical figure who shaped the early practice of divination by “stacking” the eight trigrams (ba gua) into the sixty four hexagrams currently used for divination and philosophical meditation. Wen is also said to have written the analysis or judgements appended to each hexagram. The line analyses are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams devised by King Wen is usually referred to as the King Wen sequenceConfucius (K’ung-tzu, K’ung-fu-tzu, Kong Qiu, Zhong Ni, Kǒng Zi 551 BC – 479 BC) is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (Ten Wings), a group of  commentaries or appendices to the I Ching some 500 years after King Wen. The I Ching did not appear in a scholarly form in the West until James Legge’s initial translation in 1854.

The hexagrams of the I Ching are visual focal devices to aid in meditation upon the philosophical concepts embodied within each of the hexagrams. The philosophy centers around the ideas of balance through the interplay and unification of opposites, and acceptance of change. It can be said that the core philosophy of the I Ching is embodied in the three concepts of Change, Ideal, and Discernment.

The Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu
According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu (Lǎozǐ;  Lao Tse, Lao Tze, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Laozi) lived sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC and was possibly a contemporary of Confucius. Many people consider Lao Tzu to be the father of historical Taoism based on the many surviving ancient copies of his work, the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing). Tao Te Ching is sometimes translated as “The Classic of the Way and the Power (or Virtue)”. In 1993, the oldest known version of the text, written on bamboo tablets, was found in a tomb near the town of Guodian in Jingmen, Hubei, and was dated to be older than 300 BC.Lao Tze, Lao Tzu, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, tao te ching

A central precept of the Tao Te Ching is Wu Wei, literally “non-action”. The concept of wu wei can be confusing to the Western mind;  it can mean “not doing”, “not forcing”, “not acting inauthentically”, “creating nothingness”, “acting spontaneously”, and “being in the flow.” “Action through non-action” is another term for Wu Wei, essentially meaning “to be in harmony with the Tao”.

The Tao Te Ching values direct experience of wisdom and the world gained through being present. Through this knowledge, one learns humility and one’s place in creation.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

In the early 1970s, at the Mawangdui Tombs in Changsha, Hunan Province, Dao Yin Tu, tantric qigong, Mawangdui Tombs, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges CountyChinese archaeologists found a silk Dao Yin picture, the earliest known painting of Qigong movement. Dating to approximately 168 BC, the Daoyin tu consists of forty-four illustrations of figures practicing Qigong, with accompanying instructions. The exercises involve standing in specific stances to cure corresponding illnesses.

Characteristics of Qigong practice during the Early Historical Era were:
- Qigong for health maintenance
- Medical Qigong to cure illness
- Non-religious Qigong, i.e. there was little or no spiritual or religious overtones to its practice. (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.
History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Cobra Breath Methods

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Methods of Practicing Cobra Breath

There are four main classes of technique for practicing Cobra Breath. Two require partners; two can be done by oneself. Two are sexual, two are non-sexual.

Solo Practice

Version 1: Probably the most popular, or at least the most practiced, form of Cobra Breath sadhana is to practice Cobra Breath as a meditation technique by oneself. No particular materials are required; one just practices the Cobra Breath as a meditation and internal energy technique for awakening the higher chakric centers, particularly the third eye and the Mouth of God. Fourteen repetitions daily of this breath are recommended, though more can be done as you like.

The indications, in addition to being initiated into Cobra Breath, are that one have a quiet space to practice, be able to sit without excessive movement, know the forward position of Khechari Mudra, and keep the spine very straight. Keeping the spine straight will ease the flow of energy and prevent the re-grooving of karmic patterns.

 

Version 2: It is possible to do the Cobra Breath sexually by oneself. This can add a bit more energy to the practice, and perhaps accelerate the development of cleansing Kundalini energies. To do this, one self-pleasures to near the edge of orgasm, and then performs the Cobra Breath with a very tight root lock. Generally, one to three repetitions of Cobra Breath are enough to transmute the sexual energy to the higher chakras and prevent ejaculation.

 

Partner Practice

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Yab Yum Pose

Version 1: To practice non-sexually with a partner, one needs to be deep in their energy field. There is a certain level of energy intimacy involved here. A mild form of this practice would be to sit back to back and perform the Cobra Breath with both of the partners synchronizing the breath. Having the spinal nadis in alignment and touching each other tends to create an energetic balance which can deepen one’s experience of this practice. Alternatively, two partners can perform Cobra Breath in the Yab Yum position. An advantage of this position is that partners often can get the first and second chakras physically closer, which can add a bit more energy. When the energy of Cobra Breath reaches the third eye, this position allows to the partners to perform the Tantric Kiss, which further stimulates the energy of Ajna.

 

Version 2: This is the version of Babaji’s Cobra Breath that gets all the press. Using Cobra Breath sexually with a partner holds the potential for the highest level of energy generation and transmutation. Yab Yum is the position usually recommended, although any position that allows the spine to be straight and also allows for the performance of the Tantric Kiss will work just fine. Yab Yum has a certain advantage in that the orientation of the position allows for the lower chakras to be aligned with the polarity of the Earth, and the head chakras are aligned with the heavens. This puts the entire spinal system and nadis in a straight line, resulting in an ease of energy flow between the Earthly and Heavenly chakra energies. The electromagnetic fields of Earth and Sky strengthen and cleanse one’s own bio-magnetic field. This practice is best done with a partner of similar spiritual vibration, or at least the ability of both partners to raise and synchronize their vibratory fields. To state this in another way, care should be taken that your partner is at a similar stage of evolution as you are, or surrendered enough to follow the vibratory energies to be in harmony. The same general indications of the other three versions apply here. © 2011 Keith E. Hall. www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Who is BabajiBabaji’s Cobra Breath

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If you find this site helpful, bookmark us & share!  Tools for Empowerment  T’ai Chi Instruction

Learn more about our audio programs for meditation, stress management, and personal growth.

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.

What Is qigong?

Attain Liberation! Tantric Qigong Karma Burning: Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

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Tantric Qigong

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History of Qigong

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Origins and History of Qigong

Prehistory

The origins of Qigong are shrouded in mystery and the mists of time and mythology. In prehistoric China, the precursor to Qigong (Chi Kung, xiwang, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges CountyChi Gung) and other Taoist practices was basically shamanistic in nature. In northern China and Mongolia shamans studied nature in order to enhance their basic survival. They observed that when the energies of Earth and Heaven were in balance, things were good. Their perception of floods, blizzards, droughts and earthquakes was that they were caused by a temporary imbalance in the Earthly and Heavenly energies. Close observation revealed that humans could reflect the relative balance of natural forces within themselves, thus affecting their mental, emotional, and physical health. Later this led to the development of the theories of Taoism (Daoism) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Like T’ai Chi, it is thought that the original qigong-like dance movements were developed by mimicking the movements of animals.

Central to the development of Qigong and Taoism in pre-historical times is the mythical figure known as The Yellow Emperor (Huang Ti, Huangdi) circa 2700 BC. Although there may have been a historical Yellow Emperor, much of his legacy must be considered to be mythos. He is credited with such super human feats such as single-handedly raising China (or at least the primitive people of the Huang He River valley) from stone age barbarism to a civilized society, the invention of agriculture, herbology, astronomy, the wheel, acupuncture, and more. He is said to be the author of the classic text known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine”, also known as “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Jing” or “Huangdi Neijing,” although modern scholars feel that this work is probably a compilation created at a much later date. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine contains the first account of the idea of Qi (Chi) or life force known to be written. Upon his death, he was said to ascend to heaven and became a Xian (Hsien), an immortal. Even more miraculously, the Yellow Emperor was said to have entertained a harem of 1,200 women. And survived.

It is thought that Huang Ti practiced a form of exercise called Tao Yin (Dao-In, Tao-In, Do-In), which involved breathing exercises and movements to stimulate and guide the Qi (Chi). These exercises were also known as T’u Na, which means “exhale, inhale.” Much like what we know now as Qigong, the movements of T’u Na or Tao Yin were coordinated with the breath and it is this mindful coordination that guides the circulation of air, blood, and Qi, creating much of the benefit. The breathing guidelines of Tao Yin are said to be based on the principles of Yin and Yang, and the 5 Elements (Wu Hsing).

Stephen Chang asserts that the original untranslated name for these Taoist Exercises of Revitalization was “Yang Shen Shu,” developed by Huangdi to cure and prevent disease and promote longevity through the balancing of the internal organs.

Tao Yin / T’u Na Qigong exercises create a variety of effects that are both relaxing and stimulating while building life force and cultivating inner harmony, higher consciousness, and spiritual awareness. T’u Na is still practiced widely today in Japan as Do-in, and was introduced in the United States in 1968 by Michio Kushi of “Macrobiotics” fame. © 2010 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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The Presencing Process

Tantric Qigong

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Cobra Breath

Monday, November 1st, 2010

The Cobra Breath is one of the most powerful tools for spiritual awakening on the planet. Originally transmitted by the Mahavatar Babaji, Cobra Breath is an advanced, powerful Kriya method for transmuting primal energy that can lead to Cosmic Consciousness and Self Realization in one lifetime.  It has been said by Kriya masters that a million disease-free years are needed to evolve a human mind capable of experiencing Cosmic Consciousness.  Cobra Breath practice enables one to move at a greatly accelerated pace as one repetition of the Cobra Breath is equal to one year of spiritual practice.

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Cobra Breath Kundalini

The Cobra Breath is an esoteric, sacred tradition only transmitted orally from teacher to student  through direct lineage from Babaji.   The true Cobra Breath has never been written down or recorded. When receiving Cobra Breath, it is important to be properly prepared and have an appreciation of this gift when being initiated. Cobra Breath is a powerful method for quickly opening Ajna (the third eye).   As this center is awakened, you become able to perceive reality as it really is (through witness consciousness), rather than our usual manner (maya.)

Witness consciousness is the ability to maintain our center in the midst of emotional upheaval and is essential to any advanced practice of Kundalini.  Witness helps us see beyond the unconscious beliefs, early childhood patterning, judgments, and trauma, to the Divine within all of us. This brings light to our dark aspects, thus speeding our spiritual development.

The Cobra Breath pulls Shakti energy into the secret Kriya Channel, charging the spine with energy and changing the electro-magnetic properties of the cerebro-spinal fluid, allowing Kundalini to move up the spine and activate the third eye. The nervous system is transformed and you awaken to higher consciousness.

Prerequisites / Guidelines
Now, I want to be clear here. Cobra Breath is not for everyone, certainly it is not for beginners. I have seen a lot of grief and drama occur in persons not authentically prepared for this high level practice. What you are unwilling to transform within your subconscious will be reinforced by any true Kundalini technique. The Taoists sometimes call this “circling the midplane.” You have to be ready to let go of that which no longer serves your higher interest. The readiness of any given individual has to be assessed by a teacher in person. Here are some general guidelines:

Transmute your Karmic patterning
Karmic Patterns are old habits based on early childhood and adolescent trauma and imprinting. We accrue these patterns from our parents and family, persons we associate with in life, even birth trauma itself. Karma burning is best accomplished through deep meditation with a guru and, to some extent, through body centered psychotherapy such as Bioenergetics. Truly understanding and transmuting the held energies of of our Inner Child is essential. This requirement alone eliminates the vast majority of people.

Become Self-Responsible
Most people never do this. We prefer to see ourselves as helpless victims of circumstance and the actions of others. “You hurt me” “that thing you did made me so angry”; these “you” statements are an attempt to project responsibility onto others, thereby avoiding the hard work necessary to empower ourselves to take responsibility for our thoughts and emotions. If we blame others, we can never own our emotions and master our Self.

Be Present
We live in anticipation of the future while repressing aspects of our past that we don’t like. We shuttle back and forth between past and future, robbing ourselves of our life and re-creating old patterns of being. As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Allowing our thoughts to travel indiscriminately between past and future is the scam we use to avoid doing our spiritual work and thereby staying in our dysfunctional comfort zone. True creation and spiritual evolution occur only in the moment.

There are many practices that can achieve the above goals. However, not all spiritual roads have the same speed limit. Given that the practitioner is authentic in their sadhana, the pace of awakening will depend on the level of consciousness of the individual, efficacy of the technique(s), outside cultural and interpersonal influences, and the amount of time invested. Some preparatory rules of thumb:

Hatha Yoga: at least 3 years of daily practice, 1 hour or more per day. Some Masters require 12 years. Hatha yoga alone is not enough, one must be able to enter into deep states of meditation while staying totally present. Breathwork is also essential.

Tantric Qigong / T’ai Chi: 1- 3 years of non-martial oriented practice, along with meditation. Bioenergetic analysis and Breath work can be very helpful when done in conjunction with this training.

Kundalini Yoga / Chakra Yoga: most forms now taught in the West require several years of training and daily practice. This practice is not well grounded, so one needs to master some T’ai Chi,Tantric Qigong, and Bioenergetics.

Contraindications
As I stated above, most people are not going to be ready for Cobra Breath in this lifetime. Even some who are teaching Cobra Breath have not fully prepared themselves, and thus pass on their kundalini-energized dysfunctions to their students. I have observed many astounding examples of this occurring. Here are some warning signs that a person is not yet prepared:

Blaming others: A person who feels they are victimized and others are at fault is a sure sign of that person not being ready.

Taking things personally: Like the above, we feel others are directing their “stuff” at us. Another’s drama has nothing to do with us, yet the ill-prepared student will perceive this as an attack and take it in, setting off a host of defensive mechanisms.

Depression: Depression is a suppression of life force. It is the “flight” portion of the animal “fight or flight” response. Cobra Breath will just create more sadness.

Rage / Anger: This kind of person is heavily invested in the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response. Usually this kind of person blames others, though if he or she turns this energy inward, the ensuing self-judgment will begin to affect one’s energy system, mind / emotions, and the physical body, often creating a dangerous and unstable condition. This also holds true for highly manipulative control freaks.

Attraction to Catharsis: Neo-tantric and the now discredited Primal Scream therapies are disadvantageous practices with regard to Cobra Breath in particular, and attaining self knowledge in general. Karma merely circles the midplane and becomes even more ensconced within the psyche as it is reinforced by the indiscriminate stimulation of this high level energy. This “letting off steam”  feels like a “breakthrough” to  some people, but long term observation tends to reveal that not much changes. Drama Queens and Kings who practice this are poor candidates for Cobra Breath. I am continually amazed at the number of false neo-tantric teachers who recommend this process. Suicides and false memories of childhood trauma have been linked to practicing Primal Scream and catharsis.

Anxiety / Neurosis / ObsessionCompulsion (OCD): Fear and its compensatory mechanisms bind up large amounts of primal energy. This bound energy has nowhere healthy to go. Adding more energy with the Cobra Breath will just increase the frenzy, tipping an individual into increasingly unhealthy states of being.

Physical Contraindications: Untreated hypertension, chronic headaches, drug addiction, chronic dysmenorrhea (Cobra Breath may increase pain and blood flow), anyone who is physically very ill.

Energy Idiot-Savants: I have heard some faux teachers of Cobra Breath make statements to the effect that “only those who are prepared will be attracted to Cobra Breath.” This New-Ageism is totally fallacious. I certainly have seen persons who are attracted to Cobra Breath significantly harm themselves physically and/or mentally by insisting they are ready when they are authentically not. Usually, an unprepared person will not get much from Cobra Breath. It just doesn’t work for them. I believe this is a kind of built-in protection for the “innocent”, just like a baby would not be able to drive a truck. They’re just not big enough to reach the ignition, steering wheel, and pedals, so nothing happens.

Occasionally though, an “energy idiot-savant” may get their hands on the Cobra Breath. This is a very tricky situation. The “idiot” part has not achieved sufficiently deep inner transformation to be healthy and ready for Cobra Breath Initiation, while the “savant” portion can be surprisingly adept at moving the Kundalini energy. This is a sort of “irresistible force meets an immovable object” conundrum and big drama and potential harm can occur. This can be partly ameliorated by living in an ashram with your teacher, or at least having regular contact, support, and instruction. Thus, attempting to receive Cobra Breath long-distance, or in a one-shot weekend workshop without regular support can either be dangerous or ineffective in the long run.

Reading all the above cautions can make Cobra Breath seem a little scary. If you truly feel anxious about it, you most likely are not ready. If you are interested, make sure you develop a daily practice (see guidelines above) and stick to it. Most people will self-select themselves in or out of this practice, and energy idiot savants can be screened out by the exceptionally perceptive master. Cobra Breath remains one of the most efficacious and profound tools for Awakening available to the dedicated student of the spiritual path. © Keith E. Hall & www.inner-tranquility.com

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

In traditional Chinese culture, the second of the Three Jewels (also known as The Three Treasures) is Qi (Chi), an active energetic principle that is part of all living organisms.

Chi or Qi can be thought of as life-force energy – the energy which vitalizes our bodies, and which empowers our movement.  This movement consists not only of locomotion, but also includes the movement of the breath and lungs, the coursing of our blood through the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, digestion, and the functional movements of all of our organs.

Qi is associated most particularly with the Liver and Spleen organ systems. If we think of Jing as a candle, then Chi is the candle flame – the energy produced via the transformation of the wax into fire. In our computer analogy, if Jing can be said to be your computer hardware, then Qi is the electricity that powers the system. Qi is the energy or life force that “boots up” our bodies.

Tantric Qigong, qigong, inner tranquility, 8 Treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, self masteryIn Tantric Qigong, we say that there are three types of Chi: Heavenly Qi, Earthly Qi, and Personal Qi.  Heavenly Chi is the robust energy that resides in the air or atmosphere and is sometimes known as the solar principle. Heavenly Chi is related to the naturally occurring negative ionic charge that is generated by the atmosphere and its interaction with solar radiation. One reason we feel revitalized in the mountains or at the beach is that these areas are naturally abundant with Heavenly Qi. In some systems, Heavenly Chi is thought to be closely related to the evolution of Cosmic Consciousness. It is sometimes thought of as the Masculine Principle.

Earthly Chi is resident in the earth and may be more naturally accessible in geographic areas with crystalline formations or vortices, such as those near Sedona, Arizona. Sometimes thought of as the Feminine Principle, Earthly Chi seems to have a grounded, generative, and healing quality. In Tantra Yoga, this earthly polarity is said to be directly linked to our sexual energy, so it would have some direct interface with what the Taoists call Jing (Ching).

Ordinarily, in persons not trained in Tantric Qigong, Earthly Chi is absorbed and transported within the body through the digestion and metabolization of food. Heavenly Qi is absorbed unconsciously through the process of autonomic breathing. Part of Tantric Qigong training and discipline is to learn how to master and absorb these energies more consciously and powerfully through certain Chakras and meridians. In some forms of External Qigong, Qi is the energetic force which can be radiated from a Master’s hands for healing purposes. This type of Chi is called Emitted Qi.

Earthly Qi interacts with Heavenly Qi to form our Personal Chi, which is a combination of these energies that abide within our bodies vitalizing our Soma and empowering our Psyche.  The relative levels of our vitality, intelligence, and the plane that our consciousness evolves to are partially determined by our ability to consciously absorb, transmute, and direct this Qi. Thus, one who masters the absorption, generation, and direction of Qi will have a tendency towards improved health, higher intelligence, and ease of spiritual evolution. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Next: The Three Jewels of Taoism:  Shen

Jing, Qi, Shen

Presencing – The Power of Now

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The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The Three Jewels of Taoism: Jing

The Three Jewels (sometimes called the Three Treasures) – Jing, Qi and Shen – are energies cultivated through the practice of Tantric Qigong (Chi Kung, Chi Gong), T’ai Chi, and certain Yoga and Tibetan disciplines. Jing (Ching), Qi (Chi) and Shen, may be translated as Essence, Vitality, and Spirit.

Heaven & Earth, Tantric Qigong, 8 Treasures, Ba Duan Jin, Qigong, Eight Section brocade, Tantra, Taoist Tantra A Tantric Qigong practitioner studies techniques to convert Jing into Qi and then into Shen (the path of transmutation) – and also to transmogrify Shen into Qi and Jing – (the path of generation or manifestation). The Three Jewels can also be thought of as three frequencies of a common energy. Practitioners of the Inner Alchemy of Tantric Qigong (Neidan or Neigong) learn to control and transmute the frequency of their energy and consciousness along this spectrum – choosing the wave length they desire as we might we might choose a particular TV or radio station.

Jing
The most concentrated or densely vibrating energy is Jing. Of the Three Jewels, Jing may be the one associated most closely with our physical body. Jing is said to reside in the lower dantian (Tan Tien), or the Kidney System (sometimes thought of as kidney essence), and manifests itself partly as the reproductive energy of the sperm and ova.  Jing can be stored in the kidneys and is the most primal energy within the body (Chi or Qi and Shen are progressively “lighter” or more refined in their vibration). Jing is said to be the basis for our physical bodies and is yin in nature, which means it is nourishing and cooling to the body. Jing is also thought to be the vehicle of our heredity – a concept similar that of DNA.

Jing is often considered the root of our life force, the physical substance out of which our life evolves. Jing may be likened to a wire through which the electricity of Qi is transmitted. One can also think of Jing as being analogous to the hardware of a computer – the physical foundation of an operating system. In this metaphor, Chi would be the electricity, and Shen the data that appears on your monitor.

Jing is consumed continuously by the activities of daily life, stress, illness, substance abuse, sexual excess, fear, pain, anxiety, etc. In addition to the practice of Qigong and T’ai Chi, Jing can be restored through dietary and herbal supplements, and balanced through acupuncture.

In women, Jing can be depleted through abnormally heavy menstruation and pregnancy. Some Taoist lineages promote exercises to diminish menstruation, reserving and recycling the energy that would be lost through the menstrual blood. There are corresponding Taoist and Tantric exercises for men.

In men, generation and replacement of semen lost through excessive sexual activity resulting in ejaculation contributes to the depletion of Jing. Some ancient texts actually define Jing (Ojas in the Tantra Yoga tradition) as semen, although this metaphor is not quite accurate.  Semen contains and is energized by Jing energy, but Jing can also be expressed as ova, sexual energy in general, and bone marrow. In addition, through the practice of Taoist sexology and certain Tantric Kundalini techniques, the Jing or Ojas can be withdrawn from the semen, preventing its depletion.

Most ancient masters consider Jing to be the raw material of Qi (Chi), though some have said that Jing is an expression of Chi. Obviously, vitality and sexual energy are closely related, so it may be a bit pedantic to argue which came first, sex or life force, chicken or egg. Even in the Tantra Yoga tradition, these energies of the lower chakras are so closely related and wired together that artificial distinctions are ordinarily not that valuable. © 2010 Keith E. Hall, www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Next: The Three Jewels of Taoism: Qi

Jing, Qi, Shen.

Presencing – The Power of Now

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Qigong, T’ai Chi, and Menopause

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

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Qigong, T’ai Chi, and Menopause

Menopause is a natural change in a woman’s life cycle that afflicts all women at some time. And the men that annoy them. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “The symptoms of menopause are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The ovaries make less of these hormones over time. The specific symptoms and how significant (mild, moderate, or severe) they are varies from woman to woman…A gradual decrease of estrogen generally allows your body to slowly adjust to the hormonal changes. Hot flashes and sweats are at their worst for the first 1 – 2 years. Menopause may last 5 or more years…As a result of the fall in hormone levels, changes occur in the entire female reproductive system. The vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner. The vagina becomes shorter. Lubricating secretions from the vagina become watery. The outside genital tissue thins. This is called atrophy of the labia.”*

Symptoms
“In some women, menstrual flow comes to a sudden halt. More commonly, it slowly stops over time. During this time, the menstrual periods generally become either more closely or more widely spaced. This irregularity may last for 1 – 3 years before menstruation finally ends completely. Before this the cycle length may shorten to as little as every 3 weeks.

Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Heart pounding or racing
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Skin flushing
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)

Other symptoms of menopause may include:
- Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
- Forgetfulness (in some women)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Urine leakage
- Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal infections
- Joint aches and pains
- Irregular heartbeat.

Lifestyle Changes
Women taking hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) see some benefits. But they also increase their risk for breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The good news is that you can take many steps to reduce your symptoms without taking hormones:

- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Dress lightly and in layers
- Eat soy foods
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D in food and/or supplements
- Get plenty of exercise
- Perform Kegel exercises daily to strengthen the muscles of your vagina and   pelvis. (The Taoist and Tantric  versions of these exercises are more developed and so potentially even more helpful.)
- Practice deep conscious breathing whenever a hot flash starts to come on (try taking six breaths per  minute)
- Remain sexually active (the extended love making techniques of Tantra and Taoist sexology undoubtedly help)
- See an acupuncture specialist
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation. Dr. Herbert Benson, author of “The  Relaxation Response,” suggests that Tai Chi is “…vitally important in PMS, infertility, hot flashes,  insomnia,…”**   He also says that “Repetition is key to creating the response.”***
- Use water-based lubricants during sexual intercourse.”*

Qigong for Abating Menopause Symptoms
Single Whip, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, While for most women menopause can be a difficult time, the Taoists consider menopause to be a “Second Spring” of life. It is certainly an opportunity to renew and deepen your T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong practice.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are caused due to the body’s chi being disturbed. By practicing Qigong and T’ai Chi, this disrupted chi can be more evenly distributed and some of the uncomfortable symptoms can be ameliorated.

Regular practice of qigong and T’ai Chi can alleviate the irritability and stress associated with menopause by creating pelvic health and balancing emotional and hormonal swings.  It has also found to help increase the bone density in women, thus reducing the chance of post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Qigong may restore a woman’s sex drive, which can be decreased during in menopause. The regular practice of qigong tends to increases the levels of sex hormones thus restoring a healthy sex drive. One study showed that after a year of qigong practice, hormones were restored to near normal levels.****

A study published in the Oxford Journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine on eighteen women measured the effects of regular Qigong practice on chromic fatigue symptoms and the menopausal symptoms of night sweats, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. The results showed improvement in the areas of sleep, energy and well-being. Qigong improved these symptoms of sleep disturbances after three months of practice.*****

Bone loss of up to 2% per year in women may occur after menopause. Prevention of includes optimizing the intake of calcium and vitamin D, exercise, and the optimization of normal menstruation. Stretching, strengthening, impact, and balance exercises are effective. As Qigong raises estrogen levels in women, this can reduce osteoporosis and heart disease. Tai Chi Chuan has proved to be successful in decreasing falls, and may restore bone density.

Kenneth Cohen states that “A wealth of anecdotal evidence suggest that Qigong tends to delay menopause and can extend the years of fertility.” He notes that female qigong masters have even been known to conceive during their sixties.******  One woman in her 50′s began practicing Qigong and after about 10 days  said, “I was amazed that my period reappeared…I celebrated it as a clear indication of rejuvenation.”*******

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References:
*www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000894.htm
**my.webmd.com/content/article/25/1728_57992.htm.
***http://www.webmd.com/news/20000530/mysterious-medication-of-meditation
****Ye Ming, et al. Relationship among erythrocyte superoxide dismustase activity, plasma sexual hormones (T, E2), aging and qigong exercise. Proceedings, Third International Symposium on Qigong, Shanghai, China.. 1990:28-32
*****Naropa J. Mike Craske, Warren Turner, Joseph Zammit-Maempe and Myeong Soo Lee. “Qigong Ameliorates Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue: A Pilot Uncontrolled Study.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advance Access published online on August 1, 2007
****** Cohen, Kenneth S. The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing p33
******* B.G., Los Gatos, CA qinway.org/qigong_testimonial.htm

Tantric Qigong, Mindfulness, and Flow

Friday, November 20th, 2009

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Tantric Qigong, Mindfulness, and Flow

Mindfulness, which is often thought of as a Buddhist concept, is really about being Present.   Presencing is one form of self-inquiry (which can be done as a meditation or as coaching) as is Tantric Qigong.  These art forms are about getting out of your head, your mental analysis, comparison and judgment, and becoming present to what really IS.

It sounds simple, and it is. However, this is not very easy for most people. We are constantly and anxiously analyzing, comparing / contrasting, projecting our assumptions, and judging the world around and within ourselves. Our perceptions are based on our past experiences and our experiences are shaped by our perceptions.  This is why I often maintain that we are continually “lying” to ourselves and others.  Our internal stories about the world and ourselves are supreme acts of creation in that each person’s world becomes based more and more on this mental / perceptual editing.  How can we know what is real?  How can we ascertain what is truly necessary and important in our lives?  What will really sustain our Self, our heart and soul?  Thinking and analyzing isn’t gong to cut it. It hasn’t worked too well so far has it?  Perhaps no-thinking may be more useful.

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Even kittens seek release from the Wheel of Karma

All of the multitudinous forms of meditation have elements of stilling the mind and its critical or judgmental aspects, these demons of discernment gone horribly wrong. But have you ever tried stilling your mind? Herding kittens is much easier. Practices such as Vipassana, Zen, T’ai Chi, Yoga, and Tantric Qigong all have techniques to bring one out of the maze of one’s thoughts and unbridled emotions as one of their goals.  The only difference in these arts is in their approach.

One approach to mindfulness and being present is to focus on the details of our experience.  Walking down the street, noticing every minute part of what is around us.  People, the sun, clouds, every caress of the air upon your cheek, the feeling of your clothes touching your body.  Internally, we can notice body sensations, the character of your emotional flow, the many mental distractions.  Notice them and let them go.

Try this exercise:   Stop and see, touch, and smell the flowers.
A particular flower, perhaps a lily.  Notice its overall form and all of its minutia. tigerlily, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County,The sturdiness of the stalk.  How does it feel to lightly stroke its petals?  Kiss a leaf.  Notice its texture.  Does it kiss back?  The color.  How the hues blend on its petals and leaves.  The subtle patterns within.  The heady incense of its scent.  Pistils droozed, laden with pollen. Can you almost see and hear the grains floating down?  Take plenty of time.  The closer you come into unity with this flower, the more you will become Present and unify your consciousness.

Flow
yinyang, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County,The river of Tao encompasses all of creation, including every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not.  All creativity comes from being “in the zone”, being in alignment with the Tao, from being in flow.  Like water, the flow of Tao is both dynamic (Yang) and still (Yin). When we are truly present to flow, obstacles evaporate, we Do and Be effortlessly, and life is suffused with meaning, abundance, and joy. To be in harmony with the flow of Tao is both power and wisdom, knowing when to do and when to be still, when to utilize Will and when to Surrender in the moment.

Qigong as a Meditation
Using the mind alone to still the mind is fraught with great difficulty. Where you are blind to Self, by definition you cannot see what is needed for equanimity, for inner peace.  You remain blind. When you are stressed, distracted, overwrought with emotions you must keep in check, the mind is a team of horses pulling in many directions at once. It is an almost impossible challenge to attempt to use only mental processes to be present and centered, and to still the raging beastsTao Flow, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, of the mind.

One of the great aspects of T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong is the facility with which these arts bring you into mindful presence and flow.  You really can’t let your mind wander; you’ll forget what you are doing.  The practitioner must focus his or her attention on one’s stance, sense of grounding, the coordination of subtle movement with deep diaphragmatic breathing, alignment of the body with gravity, and the flow of life force (Chi, Qi, Ki).  The moment your mind wanders you are lost, the efficacy and consciousness of energy flow is diminished. This sort of compels you to come back to mindful presencing.  We begin anew, as we must always do each moment, to align and unify mind, body, and spirit, heart and soul, with the eternal power of Now. © Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

The Importance of the Tan Tien in T’ai Chi, meditation and health: Sea of Chi

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